When I'm entertaining, one of my favorite appetizers to serve is Clams Casino; easy to prepare and delicious, they are far and away better than the standard restaurant version, which usually consists of clams with a strip of bacon. I have been serving this recipe to my friends for years and it has never failed to be a hit.
- Fresh clams
- Parmesan cheese
- White American cheese sliced into small strips (about two inches long and 1/2 inch wide)
- Fresh bread crumbs
- Green onion
- Bacon cut into small strips (about two inches wide and 1/2 inch wide)
- First buy the clams fresh from your local seafood market; I prefer steamers or little necks if they are not too small. The clams should be small- to medium-sized. I usually estimate about 8 clams per person with enough leftover for those who want more.
- Next shuck clams over a large bowl and pull shells apart. Set shells aside. Make sure to save the liquid from the clams in the bowl with the clams.
- After the clams are shucked, add freshly made – not boxed – bread crumbs to the clams until the mixture is fairly soupy but will stay in the shells without spilling over. Mix in several tablespoons of parmesan cheese.
- Next spoon a generous amount of mixture into each shell (enough to fill the clam shell). After the shells are stuffed, place the cheese strips in crosses on the clam and do likewise with the bacon on top of the cheese. Sprinkle all over with green onion for garnish. If you like white onions, place some strips over clams also.
- Bake in oven at four hundred degrees until the bacon is crispy. The clams can also be broiled, but you must keep an eye on them, they cook very quickly. When they are done, remove from oven and allow them to cool for a moment; they will be very hot.
Serve and enjoy with a dry white wine.